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More than 350 US newspapers rebuke Trump against attacks on media

Hundreds of US news publications on Thursday ran editorials in a coordinated move to push back against continuing attacks from President Donald Trump

world Updated: Aug 17, 2018 04:58 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times, Washington
Donald Trump,US,United States
The front page of the Thursday, August 16, 2018 edition of the Boston Globe newspaper reads "Journalists are Not the Enemy" as it sits for sale at Out of Town News on August 16, 2018 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (AFP)

Hundreds of US news publications on Thursday ran editorials in a coordinated move to push back against continuing attacks from President Donald Trump, who has called news media the “enemy of the people” and the “opposition party”.

The Boston Globe for the coordinated action and organised the countrywide effort that was eventually embraced by more than 350 publications.

In an editorial with the headline “Journalists are not the enemy”, the Globe wrote: “Today in the United States we have a president who has created a mantra that members of the media who do not blatantly support the policies of the current US administration are the ‘enemy of the people’. This is one of the many lies that have been thrown out by this president much like an old-time charlatan threw out ‘magic’ dust or water on hopeful crowd.”

The New York Times, in its editorial, wrote: “Criticising the news media — for underplaying or overplaying stories, for getting something wrong — is entirely right. News reporters and editors are human, and make mistakes. Correcting them is core to our job. But insisting that truths you don’t like are ‘fake news’ is dangerous to the lifeblood of democracy. And calling journalists the ‘enemy of the people’ is dangerous, period.”

Trump has been known to call news articles critical of him or those about the Russian meddling in the 2016 election as “fake news”. Steve Bannon, his former strategist, called news media the opposition party and Trump picked it up. In recent weeks, he has called the media the “enemy of the people”, to widespread general concern.

Even his daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump disagrees with him and has said so publicly. Asked about it at a recent news briefing, press secretary Sarah Sanders defended Trump, saying he is frustrated by the news coverage. “90% of the coverage on him is negative, despite the fact that the economy is booming, ISIS (the Islamic State) is on the run, and American leadership is being reasserted around the world,” she had said.

Trump pushed back in a string of tweets on Thursday. “THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA IS THE OPPOSITION PARTY. It is very bad for our Great Country....BUT WE ARE WINNING!” he wrote.

“There is nothing that I would want more for our Country than true FREEDOM OF THE PRESS. The fact is that the Press is FREE to write and say anything it wants, but much of what it says is FAKE NEWS, pushing a political agenda or just plain trying to hurt people. HONESTY WINS!” he added.

First Published: Aug 17, 2018 04:56 IST